I wonder how many people like me grew up in our early years with an elephant toy or book in our bedroom. Or remember a favourite elephant movie - Dumbo with his big flapping ears, the hero of the circus or Hathi of Kipling's Jungle Book. To most city dwellers however, we know very little about elephants except as the large grey lumbering beasts we see chained up in the zoo or those the children ride on for a special treat.
Today, August 12th is World Elephant Day dedicated to saving the elephant and its habitat, combating illegal poaching, eliminating trade in ivory, educating handlers of working elephants to provide proper care and encourage people wherever possible to visit well managed sanctuaries so we may gain a better understanding of these beautiful animals.
Siti the Elephant is a lush and beautiful book which should have pride of place in any school or home library.
Written by Rossiti Aishah Rashidi and illustrated by Farah Ashiela Samsuri, this book aims to educate children in an interesting way on the dangers faced by elephants, some directly caused by human activities.
A conservationist who writes from her heart and experience, Rossiti spends a lot of time researching about these animals and in some cases is directly involved in their care at the zoo and sanctuary.
Oyez!Books is reprinting the hardcover version of Siti the Elephant so watch out for it!
This story was originally a German folktale, retold by Volker Wolf.
Apart from the fascinating and touching story, this book contains a variety of Yusof Gajah's illustrations of different animals that can be found in the Malaysian forest.
The elephant can do many things but can it jump? Read the book to find out!
We would like to point out a book on an elephant by another veteran artist - Jaafar Taib.
Damai tells the story of a baby elephant who travels throughout the Malaysian forest in search of a sanctuary for animals.
Apparently Jaafar Taib's second home is the forest so one can expect gorgeous and realistic illustrations of the forest as well as animals.
This book seems to be out of print but we hope it will be republished.
This simple and sweet story of a baby elephant wandering away from home and getting caught by a crocodile reminds one of Kipling's How the Elephant got its Trunk in his Just-so Stories.